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This genus is accepted, and its native range is Cosmopolitan.


M. Thulin et al. Flora of Somalia, Vol. 1-4 [updated 2008]

Morphology General Habit
Parasitic herbs, attaching to the aerial parts of the host by stem haustoria
Morphology Stem
Stems filiform, twining
Morphology Leaves
Leaves reduced to alternate scales
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers in terminal or axillary lax or compact cymose inflorescences
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Sepals (3–)4–5, free or more frequently connate, persistent in fruit
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla (3–) 4–5-lobed, persistent or deciduous in fruit, with scale-like structures attached to the tube, alternating with the lobes and opposite to the stamens, sometimes missing or reduced
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens alternating with the corolla-lobes and attached to the tube
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Ovary
Ovary 2-celled, with 2 ovules in each cell; styles 2, free or united
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit a circumscissile, irregularly dehiscent or indehiscent capsule, 1–4-seeded
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds Embryo
Embryo filiform, spirally wound, without cotyledons.
Genus of some 210 species, widely distributed throughout the world, but with most species in the Americas.


Convolvulaceae, B. Verdcourt (East African Herbarium). Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1963

Morphology General Habit
Twining herbaceous parasites, annual or rarely perennial in host-tissues; free living for a brief period after germination until attachment to the host isaccomplished
Morphology Leaves Scale leaves
Leaves reduced to scales
Plant yellowish or reddish, practically devoid of chlorophyll, affixed to the host by means of haustoria
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescences lax or compact cymose clusters; flowers sessile or shortly pedicelled
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Sepals 4–5, united at the base
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla-lobes 4–5, united into a tube at the base
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens 4–5, inserted at the throat and alternating with the corolla-lobes; a whorl of thin fringed scales opposite to and below the stamens is present in most species
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Ovary
Ovary 2-locular, each loculus with 2 ovules
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Style
Styles 2, free or united into a single column
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Stigma
Stigmas capitate or linear
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit a capsule, splitting round the base or remaining closed
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds subglobose or angular, granular Embryo and seedling thread-like, without cotyledons.

Native to:

Afghanistan, Alabama, Albania, Alberta, Algeria, Altay, Amur, Angola, Argentina Northeast, Argentina Northwest, Argentina South, Arizona, Arkansas, Aruba, Assam, Austria, Bahamas, Baleares, Baltic States, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil North, Brazil Northeast, Brazil South, Brazil Southeast, Brazil West-Central, British Columbia, Bulgaria, Burundi, Buryatiya, California, Cameroon, Canary Is., Cape Provinces, Cape Verde, Central European Rus, Chad, Chile Central, Chile North, Chile South, China North-Central, China South-Central, China Southeast, Chita, Colombia, Colorado, Connecticut, Corse, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia, Delaware, Denmark, Denmark, District of Columbia, Dominican Republic, East Aegean Is., East European Russia, East Himalaya, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, Finland, Florida, France, Free State, Galápagos, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Great Britain, Great Britain, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Gulf States, Guyana, Hainan, Haiti, Hawaii, Honduras, Hungary, Idaho, Illinois, India, Indiana, Inner Mongolia, Iowa, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Irkutsk, Italy, Italy, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Japan, Jawa, Kansas, Kazakhstan, Kentucky, Kenya, Khabarovsk, Kirgizstan, Korea, Krasnoyarsk, Kriti, Krym, KwaZulu-Natal, Laos, Lebanon-Syria, Leeward Is., Lesser Sunda Is., Liberia, Libya, Louisiana, Madagascar, Madeira, Maine, Malawi, Malaya, Manchuria, Manitoba, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mexico Central, Mexico Gulf, Mexico Northeast, Mexico Northwest, Mexico Southeast, Mexico Southwest, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Mongolia, Montana, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nansei-shoto, Nebraska, Nepal, Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, Nevada, New Brunswick, New Caledonia, New Guinea, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New South Wales, New York, Newfoundland, Nicaragua, Nigeria, North Carolina, North Caucasus, North Dakota, North European Russi, Northern Provinces, Northern Territory, Northwest European R, Norway, Norway, Nova Scotia, Ohio, Oklahoma, Ontario, Oregon, Pakistan, Palestine, Panamá, Paraguay, Pennsylvania, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Primorye, Prince Edward I., Puerto Rico, Qinghai, Queensland, Québec, Rhode I., Romania, Rwanda, Sakhalin, Sardegna, Saskatchewan, Saudi Arabia, Selvagens, Sicilia, Sierra Leone, Sinai, Socotra, Somalia, South Australia, South Carolina, South Dakota, South European Russi, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sumatera, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Sweden, Switzerland, Tadzhikistan, Taiwan, Tanzania, Tasmania, Tennessee, Texas, Thailand, Tibet, Transcaucasus, Trinidad-Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkey-in-Europe, Turkmenistan, Tuva, Uganda, Ukraine, Uruguay, Utah, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Venezuelan Antilles, Vermont, Victoria, Vietnam, Virginia, Washington, West Himalaya, West Siberia, West Virginia, Western Australia, Windward Is., Wisconsin, Wyoming, Xinjiang, Yakutskiya, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

Introduced into:

Belgium, Caroline Is., Cook Is., Czechoslovakia, Fiji, Germany, Lesotho, Line Is., Mauritius, Netherlands, New Zealand North, New Zealand South, Niue, Poland, Réunion, Seychelles, Society Is., Tuamotu

Cuscuta L. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Jan 1, 2007 Stannard, B.L. [H51588], Brazil K000945721
Jan 1, 2007 Eiten, G. [6682], Brazil K000945719
Jan 1, 2007 Moraes, J.C. [2046], Brazil K000945720
Jan 1, 2007 Simão-Bianchini, R. [1241], Brazil K000945722
Jan 1, 2006 Harley, R.M. [11409], Brazil K000945715
Jan 1, 2006 Usteri, P.A. [138], Brazil K000945718
New Guinea 33254.000
Bolivia 44848.000
Harley, R.M., Brazil 60194.000
Harley, R.M. [21452], Brazil 72707.000
Coode, M. [3988], Reunion 34271.000
Coode, M. [4654], Mauritius 35405.000
Styles, B.T. [348], Uganda 25694.034
Stannard, B. [24209], Brazil 60225.000
Stannard, B. [1748], Brazil 63266.000
Rico, L. [1930], Morocco K000564886
Eiten, G. [6528], Brazil K000945716
Macedo, A. [4365], Brazil K000945717

First published in Sp. Pl.: 124 (1753)

Accepted by

  • Johnson, R.W. (2012). Convolvulaceae Australian Plant Census Council of Heads of Australian Herbaria.
  • Dobignard, A. & C. Chatelain in Dobignard, A. & Chatelain, C. (2011). Convolvulaceae Index synonymique de la flore d'Afrique du nord 3: 331-351. Conservatoire et Jardin Botanique de la ville de Genève.
  • Staples, G. (with P. Traiperm) (2010). Convolvulaceae Flora of Thailand 10: 330-468. The Forest Herbarium, National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, Bangkok.
  • Bianchini, R.S., Ferreira, P.P.A. in Forzza, R.C. et al. (2010). Convolvulaceae Lista de Espécies da Flora do Brasil Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro.
  • Getachew Aweke & S. Edwards (2006). 159B. Cuscutaceae Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea 5: 232-234. The National Herbarium, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia & The Department of Systematic Botany, Upps.
  • Thulin, M. et al. in Thulin, M. (ed.) (2006). Convolvulaceae Flora of Somalia 3: 221-258. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Deroin, T. (2001). Convolvulaceae Flore de Madagascar et des Comores (Plantes Vasculaires) 171: 11-287. Typographie Firmin-Didot et Cie., Paris.
  • Meeuse, A.D.J. & W.G. Welman (2000). Convolvulaceae Flora of Southern Africa 28: 1-138. Botanical Research Institute, Department of Agriculture.
  • Bosser, J. & H. Heine (2000). Fl. Mascar. Convolvulaceae Flore des Mascareignes 127: 1-63. IRD Éditions, MSIRI, RBG-Kew, Paris.
  • Mill, R.R. (1999). Fl. Bhutan Cuscutaceae Flora of Bhutan 2(2): 862-865. Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh.
  • Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. MIM, Deurne.
  • Fang, R.-Z. & Staples, G. (1995). Convolvulaceae Flora of China 16: 271-325. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis.
  • Yamazaki, T. (1993). Fl. Japan Convolvulaceae Flora of Japan IIIa: 195-205. Kodansha Ltd., Tokyo.
  • Smith, A.C. in Smith, A.C. (1991). Fl. Vitiensis Nova Convolvulaceae Flora Vitiensis Nova. A new flora for Fiji (Spermatophytes only) 5: 41-69. Pacific Tropical Botanical Garden, Lawai.
  • Gonçalves, M.L. (1987). Cuscutaceae Flora Zambesiaca 8(1): 130-135. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Heine, H. (1984). Fl. Nouv. Caléd. & Dépend. Convolvulaceae Flore de la Nouvelle-Calédonie et Dépendances 13: 1-91. Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris.
  • Cronquist, A. et al. in Cronquist, A., et al. (1984). Convolvulaceae Intermountain Flora, vascular plants of the intermountain west, U.S.A. 4: 74-84. New York Botanical garden.
  • Austin, D. F. (1982). Flora of Ecuador 15: 3-99. Botanical Institute, University of Göteborg, Riksmuseum, Stockholm.
  • Allan, H.H. (1982). Fl. New Zealand Convolvulaceae-indigenous Flora of New Zealand 1: 835-841+1034. R.E.Owen, Government Printer, Wellington.
  • Austin, D.F. in Lasser, T. (1982). Convolvulaceae Flora de Venezuela 8(3): 15-226. Fundación Educación Ambiental.
  • Austin, D.F. (1980). Studies of the Florida Convolvulaceae -- III. Cuscuta Florida Scientist 43: 294-302.
  • Austin, D.F. in Dassanayake (ed.) (1980). Rev. Handb. Fl. Ceylon Convolvulaceae A Revised Handbook to the Flora of Ceylon 1: 288-363. Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. PVT. LTD., New Delhi, Calcutta.
  • Plitmann, U. in Davis, P.H. (ed.) (1978). Cuscutaceae Flora of Turkey and the East Aegean Islands 6: 222-237. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh.
  • Fosberg, F.R. & Sachet. M.-H. (1977). Flora of Micronesia 3: Convolvulaceae Smithsonian Contributions to Botany 36: 1-34.
  • Manitz, H. (1976). Zur Lectotypisierung der Namen einiger Convolvulaceen- und Cuscutaceen-Gattung Feddes Repertorium 87: 311-317.
  • Austin, D.F. (1975). Convolvulaceae Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 62: 157-224.
  • Butkov, A.Y. (1974). Cuscuta in Fl. USSR Flora of the USSR 19: 30-57. Science Publishers, Inc.
  • Adams, C.D. in Adams, C.D. (1972). Flowering Plants of Jamaica: 601-614. University of the West Indies, Mona.
  • Valentine, D.H. et al. in Tutin, T.G. & al. (eds.) (1972). Convolvulaceae Flora Europaea 3: 74-83. Cambridge University Press.
  • Matuda, E. in Matuda, E. (1966). Las Convolvulaceas del estado de Mexico Las Convolvulaceae del estado de Mexico: 1-56. Govierno del Estado de Mexico, Direccion de Agricultura y Ganaderia.
  • Verdcourt, B. (1963). Convolvulaceae Flora of Tropical East Africa: 1-161.
  • Heine, H. in Hutchinson, J. & Dalziel, J.M. (1963). Convolvulaceae Flora of West Tropical Africa, second edition 2: 335-352 + 496. Crown Agents for Oversea Governments and Administrations.
  • Andrews, F.W. in Andrews, F.W. (1956). Convolvulaceae The Flowering Plants of the Sudan 3: 102-125. T.Buncle & co., LTD., Arbroath, Scotland.
  • Ooststroom, S.J. van & R.D. Hoogland (1953). Convolvulaceae Flora Malesiana 4: 388-512. Noordhoff-Kolff N.V., Djakarta.
  • Hill, A.W. & Sandwith, N. in Williams, R.O. (1953). Fl. Trinidad & Tobago Convolvs. Flora of Trinidad and Tobago 2(4): 210-240. Government Printing Office, Port-of-Spain.
  • Yuncker, T.G. (1932). The genus Cuscuta Memoirs of the Torrey Botanical Club 18: 113-331. New York Botanical Garden.
  • Gagnepain & Courchet in H. Lecomte (1915). Flore Indo-Chine Convolvulaceae Flore Générale de l'indo-Chine 4: 228-313.
  • Baker, J.G. & A.B. Rendle in Thiselton-Dyer, W.T. et al. (eds.) (1905). Convolvulaceae Flora of Tropical Africa 4(2): 62-206. Secretary of State for the Colonies.
  • Baker, J.G. & C.H. Wright in Thiselton Dyer, W.T. et al. (eds.) (1904). Convolvulaceae Flora Capensis 4(2): 45-87.
  • Clarke, C.B. in Hooker, J.D. (1883). Fl. Br. India Convolvulaceae Flora of British India 4: 179-228 + 734.
  • Progel, A. in Martius, C.F.P.von & auct. suc. (eds.) (1869). Cuscutaceae Flora Brasiliensis 7: 372-389 +406.


Flora of West Tropical Africa

  • Verdcourt in E. Afr. Agric. Journ. 18: 85 (1952).
  • Yuncker in Mem. Torrey Bot. Club 18: 2 (1932)
  • —F.T.A. 4, 2: 202

Flora Zambesiaca

  • Gen Pl. ed. 5: 60 (1754).
  • Sp. Pl. 1: 124 (1753).

Flora of Somalia

  • Flora Somalia, Vol 1, (1993) Author: by M. Thulin [updated by M. Thulin 2008]

Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • Verdc. in E. Afr. Agr. Journ. 18 : 85 (1953)
  • Yuncker in Mem. Torr. Bot. Club 18 : 121 (1932)
  • Bak. & Rendle in F.T.A. 4 (2) : 202 (1906)
  • L., Gen. Pl., ed. 5 : 60 (1754)
  • Sp. Pl. : 124 (1753)

Flora of Somalia
Flora of Somalia

Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa

Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
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Interactive Key to Seed Plants of Malesia and Indo-China
The Malesian Key Group (2010) Interactive Key to Seed Plants of Malesia and Indo-China (Version 2.0, 28 Jul 2010) The Nationaal Herbarium Nederland Leiden and The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew

Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at and
© Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at and
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.